E Wine of the Week
By Bruce Cochran
I hope everyone had a great Independence Day, now it’s back to the world of wine. This week we continue our quest for good summertime reds with a grape that is considered by many to be the most American of them all- Zinfandel.
Our next wine dinner will be July 24 at The Italian Couple in Little Rock. The menu and wine list should be completed soon. I’ll post details on the web site (www.brucecochran.com) as they are confirmed. For reservations call (501) 372-4448.
This Friday at 11:30 a.m. you can hear my weekly radio program, The Wine Show, KABF FM 88.3 Little Rock. Around the state and around the globe, you can hear it live on the internet or download it for later. I’ve heard that some wine stores are already playing it for their customers. There’s a link from my web site www.brucecochran.com, or go to www.kabf883.org. In the upper right hand corner you’ll see the words “Listen Now” for live streaming and below that some wine glasses to click for the podcast.
And finally, thank you for your many suggestions for California wineries. In case you missed it last week, some of our retail customers have asked us for California wines.
Since there are over 2,000 wineries in California, I asked you for ideas. If there’s a particular winery that you think we should look at I’d be very interested to hear about it!
That’s it for now, so let’s get ready to break out the wine and fire up the grill. I know that if you’re reading this in the Fayetteville Free Weekly, Independence Day was last week, but this is the season for grilling.
Most of the wine grapes we know from California actually came from France, but if there’s one that is thought of as “American,” it’s zinfandel. As with most grapes, wine made from zinfandel can be made in a variety of styles. The best known isn’t even red, it’s pink, although called white for a reason never explained to me. The best, however, is red. Very red.
For deep color and rich flavor, a good red zinfandel is hard to beat. Hearty, full bodied examples are great on chilly winter evenings, but a fruit centered, medium bodied style can be a perfect choice on summer days, especially for weekend barbecues.
Zinfandel has long had a loyal following, and today there’s even a zinfandel festival, in the self-proclaimed capital of California zinfandel, Paso Robles.
Paso Robles is about halfway down California’s coast, about 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean near Hearst Castle.Growers there describe two main areas with different climates. The western (ocean side) of Highway 101 is said to be cooler than the eastern side. That’s because the eastern side lies behind the sheltering coastal hills, which block the Pacific breezes.
Peachy Canyon’s ‘Incredible Red’ zinfandel has a great style for summer barbecues, with a deep color, rich concentration of berry-like fruit flavors and not too much oak and tannin. It retails for only around $15 or so a bottle. Some might describe it as the ultimate “hamburger wine” but it’s equally good with ribs, or for that matter ribeyes.
For questions, comments, or to subscribe to the electronic version of E Wine of the Week, email Bruce at: firstname.lastname@example.org